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Will Sutherland in brutal Sheffield Shield scenes after Victoria miss out on final

The Victorian allrounder was fighting back tears after the loss.

Victorian cricket captain Will Sutherland has shown fans how much the Sheffield Shield means to the players having broken down in tears after missing out on the final. Sutherland and Victoria were left devastated after rain wreaked havoc in their run-chase as they fell short by 138 runs in a virtual elimination final at the Junction Oval in Melbourne.

Set 269 to win, Victoria were all out for 130 on day-three with batting proving difficult throughout the contest. Western Australia left Victoria reeling early after removing Victoria's three most experienced batters - Nic Maddinson, Marcus Harris and Peter Handscomb - to leave them 3-31. And Victoria never recovered, which saw them drop out of finals contention.

Western Australia celebrate and Victorian captain Will Sutherland in tears.
Victorian captain Will Sutherland (pictured) was left fighting back tears after Victoria failed to qualify for the Sheffield Shield final. (Images: Getty Images/Cricket.com.au)

And showing just how important the domestic competition is to the players, Sutherland was left in tears after the defeat. Having battled through a back injury during the three-day contest, Sutherland was shattered when speaking about the result and not being able to turnaround a poor finish to the season.

"The boys are pretty flat," Sutherland said, before taking a moment to compose himself. "Our batting let us down ... the boys ran out of steam a little bit with the ball," he said.

"We're still a young group, but I think this one does hurt quite a bit ... almost hurts more than making the final and losing, I don't know why." The images of Sutherland showing just how much the competition means to him resonated with cricket fans.

Sutherland wasn't the only player to struggle during the match with Test quick Scott Boland (knee) and O'Neill (illness) all battling away. There wasn't much to celebrate for Victoria other than young left-hander Campbell Kellaway showing his talent having hit 53 from 136 balls for his fifth first-class half-century. Kellaway watched as the experienced batters fell around him as WA's bowlers ripped through the Victorian line-up.

Western Australia look to create Sheffield Shield history

Victoria were in with a strong chance to qualify for the finals, but two losses and a draw - due to rain against New South Wales - meant the state will miss out on a showdown. Tasmania finished second, with Western Australia finishing first and securing a home final for the third consecutive season. WA will host the five-day final against Tasmania at the WACA Ground on March 21.

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WA are looking to continue their dynasty, aiming to become just the third team this century, after Queensland (2000-02) and Victoria (2015-17), to win three straight Shield titles. "The pleasing thing about this group is there's no real talk about three in a row," WA captain Sam Whiteman said. "It's just about winning this year, and we've found this year that Shields are so hard to win, a lot of things need to go your way."

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